It was interesting seeing the reaction to Washington getting beat last night.
The crowd when crazy when it was over, with the students rushing the floor. And one newspaper headline today trumpeted that the Bears had greatly enhanced their NCAA tournament chances by beating a team with the stature of the Huskies.
Even though it’s not news that the Huskies are good, it’s still sometimes hard to believe just how good this program has been since that memorable comeback win at Oregon State, which was just a little over two years ago.
UW is 59-13 since that win in Corvallis and 31-8 in Pac-10 games.
Obviously, those loss numbers were 12 and 7 before last night.
I bring it up because it seemed again like the Huskies came out a bit passive, not quite ready for the intensity that the opponent would bring. That’s definitely what happened against Washington State, and in a few of those sluggish non-conference wins as well.
UW Lorenzo Romar said that he thought his team waited a half before deciding to really compete.
That’s something this team has to solve, especially with so many road games left.
PG Justin Dentmon’s struggles continued as he played just 15 minutes and had two points with a team-high four turnovers. Dentmon has scored just 22 points in UW’s last five games and has a combined 15 turnovers in the three road games in that span.
UW may be better inside than it’s been in years, but the reality is that the Huskies also don’t start anyone taller than 6-7 and that seemed a real problem last night. Jamaal Williams never got going and while Jon Brockman played hard all night – he had a team-high 10 rebounds – he doesn’t yet have the polished offensive game the team can really count on for big numbers in such a game.
Turnovers were again a problem in a road game. UW had 28 at USC and 18 last night, the two highest totals in the last seven games.
The team again came back when it seemed dead in the water.
The 10 3-pointers were the most since a season-high 12 against Loyola-Marymount.
Ryan Appleby again showed he can come through in the clutch, hitting 5 of 6 3-pointers.
And Joel Smith showed some spark off the bench before committing a bad foul at the end of the game.